In 2011, after seeing the success of Compassion Clinics in Portland as a model for uniting churches, a small team of AZ volunteers held the first Compassion Queen Creek. Despite unprecedented rain and cold the event was a huge success. We learned that not only were the churches in our community hungry to work together, but the people were seriously under-served. Exit interviews proved that this area had a huge lack of social services and community resources.
The biggest problem: Social service agencies and churches providing services to this area needed a place to meet clients.
Out of this need was born The San Tan Valley Compassion Care Center. A small building, in an impoverished community that is referred to by residents as "Little Mexico", now provides a place where those in need can come and receive a wide variety of services ranging from Parenting and pregnancy counseling to English as a second language classes, job services, rent and utility assistance, food, clothes, help with state benefits and much more.
Statewide to date Arizona has 3-4 Compassion Clinics per year, participates in at least a couple human trafficking awareness or prevention activities and operates The Compassion Care Center Tuesday-Saturday.
Gary and Jennelle Esquivel, Regional Directors
Meeting in high school and marrying shortly after, Gary and Jennelle just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They are the proud parents of 4 wonderful children, a beautiful daugher-in-law and 1 grandson. While they were raised in Arizona and Portland, they have called the San Tan Valley/Queen Creek area home for the past 12 years.
In 2010 they brought Compassion Connect to Arizona when they began building the first Compassion Queen Creek team. With the support of several very faithful friends, and their home church- Epic Christian Church, CQC 2011 was a huge success and with it the AZ Hub was born. Currently, Jennelle spends most of her time at the Compassion Care Center and Redeemed Threads as well as providing support to new and existing clinics and hub development. Gary manages and maintains all medical and dental equipment, set-up and tear down of all events and endlessly supports the work at the center and store.
Both Gary and Jennelle came to faith in Jesus as children but Compassion Connect has provided great opportunity to serve together, along with their children who are always willing to do hard work for the Kingdom. It has both brought them together, and been the source of more than one disagreement- but grown their faith and relationship tremendously.
Pat Griffin, Compassion Care Center Director
Pat received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior when she was 20, realizing God alone had the answers to her life. Pat has worked in the medical field for 30 years with experience in both Hospital Administration and Outpatient Clinics, having worked for the Department of Health Services, Los Angeles County (Physical Rehabilitation & Acute Care), and the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) Long Beach, Spinal Cord Injury Department (Physical Rehabilitation). In 2011, Pat first became aware of Compassion Queen Creek (CQC) when Jennelle Esquivel, the Chief Executive Officer, shared her vision for serving the communities of Queen Creek/San Tan Valley through a format being used in Oregon, i.e., free medical, dental and social services to the community to show the Love of God. Pat initially volunteered in 2011 to be a member of the CQC Core Development Team, leading Volunteer Services, Signs, etc., however, in subsequent years has served on the Executive Leadership Team over Community Resources, Medical & Dental Follow-up, and Social Services. She also played a role in establishing the Compassion Care Center, and now serves as the partner liaison for the Center.
Todd Mosley, Arizona Hub Medical Area Coordinator
Todd serves as the medical director for Compassion Queen Creek and the RockPoint mini-clinic. He's been an ER nurse for 20+ years, mostly in pediatrics. He has always loved the helping/healing aspect of nursing and truly believes that is why God put him on this earth. He is married to Alisa, a nurse practitioner and they have 3 children; Troy and Zac are 10 year old twin boys, and their girl Vivian is 8. They like to watch movies, travel and play games.
Walt Griffin, Executive Director of Compassion Queen Creek
Walt received Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior during his service to our Country in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Vietnam War. Walt currently teaches online for Long Beach City College as a member of the Electrical Department, after working for the University of California, Riverside as an Electrical Supervisor for 25+ years. Walt has also run his own electrical business, from which he has retired. In 2011, Walt had the privilege of volunteering on the first Compassion Queen Creek (CQC), utilizing his experience as an electrician within the Equipment Team as they set up and tested all the Dental equipment for the first Dental Clinic. That year, along with all the other volunteers, CQC served an amazing 133 dental guests, a number that has not been matched. Walt has also served Compassion Queen Creek on various other teams; Life Connector and Security, helping wherever the needs arose. This year Walt has accepted the Executive Director Operations position.
Gale Lasley was born and raised in Arizona and now resides in San Tan Valley, Arizona. Gale has six wonderful grandchildren, four girls and two boys, and her loving husband Lawrence. Gale coordinates women's ministry in her local church, and currently Gale and Lawrence open the doors to their home on Wednesday nights to mostly non-Christian, non-believing neighbors to share dinner and conversations about God and his word. Gale is both excited and thrilled to be a part of the Compassion Family and for the hope that is held out through the Gospel of life.
John Allee, Arizona Hub Champion
A dedicated supporter of the Compassion Connect Arizona Hub since 2011, John Allee passed away in September of 2016. John first became precious to Compassion Connect when he was the principle at Walker Butte Elementary School in 2011. It was due to him the Arizona Hub was able to hold the first Compassion Queen Creek Clinic at Walker Butte. He was crucial to our success for the first four years of the event and would always stay from open to close to make sure that we had everything we needed. He also served as a Life Connector, walking guests to their appointments with them, praying for them, sharing in their struggles, loving on them and showing them Jesus. John and his wife Konnie continued to support the Hub when the Compassion Care Center opened, assisting with construction and furnishing the store with antiques from their own home. John Allee left a legacy of service and compassion in the community, and he will be greatly missed by all those he touched during his life.